Note these parts:
Kyanka: It was more of a close-knit community, a modest community, still in its youthful phase. There were regulars, everyone knew each other. Then around 2005 it started getting really popular. Unfortunately, popularity is a double-edged sword. You lose a sense of community, but you get an influx of members.
Which happened to Wikipedia at exactly the same time. 2004-2005 was a turning point for a good chunk of the modern Web--it was also when hardcore trolls took over, and also when YouTube, Reddit, Facebook etc. started. Twitter followed in early 2006.
Rich blames the culture wars. To hear him tell it, SA was something like the internet's Switzerland. On SA, you could make fun of anybody without declaring allegiance to anybody else. But as the culture wars cut a swathe across the internet, not declaring for a side wasn't an option anymore, he said.
Well put--no one "wins" a culture war either.
Thorpe: FYAD was certainly known as a mean place, but it was not mean on the level of the meanness you see nowadays. People would definitely make fun of each other and insult each other but it was not a thing where you were calling the SWAT team to people's houses or posting people's addresses online and getting them messed with or calling their jobs and getting them fired.
Again, things like that started to pick up in 2004-05.
Thorpe: [4chan's] original population was also at least partially defined by the sorts of people that got kicked off SA. 4chan and ytmnd.com both trace back to SA. I Can Haz Cheezburger or whatever it is called started by leeching onto SA memes and now has grown into something else.
All true. SA was unquestionably a powerful influence on the "social web" that came along in the mid-2000s.